It doesn’t matter if you have the best food in the world if nobody knows about it. You need a mix of amazing food, a great space, and an effective marketing plan. Because you’re going to do the majority of that marketing online, your content will be the element that drives your success. You need viral content to promote your restaurant. Here are some ways to make that happen.
Create Content That Educates Your Guests
Identify what matters to your clients, and what your customers care about. Why do you source all of your produce from local growers? Where do the roast pigs you serve come from? How do you make that amazing cherry buckle that sells out every time it’s on the menu? By educating your audience about your food, and your choices you create both understanding an excitement about your restaurant.
An educated customer may understand:
- Why certain dishes are only available seasonally
- The reason prices have gone up
- The work that goes into creating some of your best dishes
You can also use content to get them excited about what they can do with food as well. Create a series of videos that break down simple cooking techniques for interested readers. Share a home version of one of your most popular dishes. Let a few secrets out, and people will still come for your food.
Start A Foodie Podcast
A third of Americans from 25 to 54 listen to podcasts on a regular basis. The food industry hasn’t been left behind. Audiences are falling in love with podcasts like ‘Spilled Milk’ and ‘Gastropod’.
If you can commit to creating and releasing content on a reliable basis, you might consider adding a podcast to your content arsenal. You’ll need to buy, or source some audio equipment, and use a tool like Audacity. Most importantly, your podcast has to have a theme. Just avoid making your focus too narrow, or you’ll struggle to find the right subject matter.
Embrace Live Video
How do you engage with your followers, share interesting content, and create a buzz around something that’s happening right now? This is what live video was made for. Bring along a GoPro and go live at:
- Food Truck Events
- Street Fairs
- While Your Team Sets Up for Service
- At Live Music Events
Basically, anywhere you go to represent your restaurant is probably a viable choice for a live broadcast.
Be Casual And Conversational But Not Sloppy
Social marketing content tends to be written in the second person, and it often takes on a casual voice. The idea is to treat content as a conversation you’re having with an audience. It isn’t a lecture. It shouldn’t be detached and impersonal.
At the same time, you are a professional. There have to be some quality standards. Fall short of those standards, and your content will go viral because of its cringe-factor. Casual in no way means full of errors and inaccuracies.
Thankfully there are some decent resources for editing and proofreading. You can begin with checking out Grammarly if you’re ready to produce content on your own, and a reliable writing service if you’re planning to outsource this work, for example.
Cross Promote Your Content
Promote and share your content across all of your social media accounts. Do you have a new blog post up? Share that tidbit on Facebook and Twitter. Did you just upload a bunch of amazing pictures to Instagram? Drive traffic to that account by promoting it on your other social accounts.
Consider a promotional tool made for digital marketing such as HootSuite. You can also use IFTTT (if this, then that) to automate some of these tasks.
Reach Out to Other People in The Business
Think beyond influencer marketing. Look to other people in your business who do interesting things, who share your struggles, and who have something interesting to say. Reach out to them, not just for your benefit but for theirs as well.
Reach out to others in the business on social media. Comment on their posts. If they’re doing amazing things with food, share that with your audience. This can lead to guest blogging opportunities, cross-promotional partnerships, or simply more traffic and engagement for both of you.
Signal Boost the Local Scene
Restaurants are a powerful part of the local fabric. Not only do restaurants play a role in local events, but they are also the places that people go for food and sustenance before and after. Local musicians, artists, students, and just neighborhood folks often find common ground in a restaurant when that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Restaurants also need strong communities to survive. Take pride in your city or neighborhood by creating and sharing content that promotes the local scene. Signal boost local events, whether you’re directly involved or not. Weigh in on local news. You’ll show local pride, and likely gain a local SEO boost.
Final Thoughts: Get Your Audience to Do the Work for You
It’s unavoidable. People are checking into restaurants on social before they order their appetizers. They’re sharing their food on Instagram and yours too. There’s so much food-related, user-generated content that it’s a sin not to use that to promote your audience.
Encourage audience members to create and share their food-related content. Identify your restaurant’s brand ambassadors. Link to their social media content, and encourage them to keep sharing content that is relevant to your audience.
You can also encourage your followers to share their pictures and videos with you. Consider creating contests and giveaways. You can even provide a platform on your website or blog dedicated to hosting and sharing user-generated content.